Okay, college students. If you want to stay out of trouble, be careful what you post on the Internet! According to the London Daily Mail, more and more universities are punishing students for pictures posted on social networking sites, like Facebook and MySpace. Why? Because they’re finding evidence that students are breaking school rules.
- For example, two students at Fisher College in Boston – one of them the president of the Student Council - were expelled for criticizing and threatening a campus police officer online.
- The women’s soccer team at Northwestern University was temporarily suspended after photos of an illegal “initiation” party were posted on the Web.
- Another punishment: Penn State police used Facebook to identify and discipline students who rushed the field after an Ohio State football game.
- Five students were banned from a school trip in Toronto after administrators found disparaging remarks about teachers on a social site.
- And at UC Santa Barbara, officials impose harsh consequences for students posting pictures of illegal activity, like drinking in the dorms.
Some school officials regularly search the Internet for incriminating photos. But it’s not just university administrators who are checking out Internet posts. Studies show that 1 in 5 companies log onto social networking sites to vet potential employees. They take what they find there as a serious reflection of personal character. For example, an American consulting firm rejected an applicant after reading that his interests included smoking pot. Bottom line: Don’t post anything on your Facebook or MySpace account that you wouldn’t want your parents, professors, school administrators, or potential bosses to see.